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All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/23/2017

Guests: John Yarmuth, Jennifer Rubin, Wendell Potter, Joaquin Castro, McKay Coppins, Franklin Foer

Show: All in with Chris Hayes Date: March 23, 2017 Guest: John Yarmuth, Jennifer Rubin, Wendell Potter, Joaquin Castro, McKay Coppins, Franklin Foer


Chris Hayes starts right now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Nobody knew Healthcare could be so complicated.

REID: The President can`t close the deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to ask some honest questions about why this went down in flames.

REID: A stunning rebuke for the President and the Speaker as republicans pull Trumpcare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any sort of plan if the bill doesn`t pass tonight?


REID: Tonight, as the President`s team storms the Capitol to try to revive the bill, how the deal was undone. What happens next, and what this means for Americans caught in the crosshairs.

NANCY PELOSI, UNITED STATES CONGRESSWOMAN FROM CALIFORNIA: I don`t know if you want to call this on Trump`s part a rookie`s error.

REID: Plus, the Devin Nunes debacle continues.

DEVIN NUNES, UNTED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM CALIFORNIA: The President didn`t invite me over, I called. I called down there and invited myself.

REID: Tonight, the calls for a select committee grow louder. New questions about Paul Manafort as the White House keeps trying to disown him.

SPICER: You pull out a gentleman who was employed by someone for five months.

REID: ALL IN starts now.

Good evening from New York, I`m Joy Reid in for Chris Hayes. At this hour, House Republicans have just finished meeting to try to find a way forward after a day of frenzy and failure on Capitol Hill. According to reporting from inside the room, the President wants a vote tomorrow and says he is done negotiating. More on that shortly. And today, of course, is the seventh anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and it was today that republicans were finally supposed to pass their bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Seven years and more than sixty repeals (INAUDIBLE) Even though ObamaCare is actually becoming quite popular while virtually no one seemed to like, the bill that House Speaker Paul Ryan foisted on his members.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two quick clarifications. You said that there`s no - there`s only plan A.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At this point, is there an acknowledgement that perhaps there does need to be a plan B if this vote doesn`t happen tonight?

RYAN: No. Plan A.


REID: So republicans started the day without the votes to pass their bill but they and the White House tried to sound confident. This morning, members of the skeptical House Freedom Caucus went to the White House to meet with Donald Trump and they gave the President a standing ovation when he walked into the room. A White House staffer tweeted out a photo with the caption "big momentum toward repeal and replace." It was at that meeting that the White House presented Freedom Caucus members with what they said was a final offer, a version of the bill that they could either accept or reject, no plan B. There was just one big problem. Most of the Freedom Caucus members, they went with reject.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they vote today the bill will go down?

MARK MEADOWS, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM NORTH CAROLINA: There are not enough votes as of 1:30 today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what are the concessions that the President is offering?

JUSTIN AMASH, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM MICHIGAN: There were no new concessions. I don`t think there can be a vote tonight because they don`t the votes.

MEADOWS: I am still a no at this time. I`m desperately trying to get to yes.

REID: Speaker Ryan scrambling for votes twice delayed a planned press conference and by 3:30 it was official. The vote had been canceled after Ryan and other GOP leaders failed to win the support necessary to pass the bill which, for the purposes of tonight we`ll call Trump/Ryancare. But apparently nobody bothered to tell the Trump in Trump/Ryancare because while the bill was busy going down in flames in the House, the President was busy making these comments from the White House.


TRUMP: Today the House is voting to repeal and replace the disaster known as ObamaCare. We`ll see what happens. It`s going to be a very close vote.


REID: No, they weren`t doing that. Well, again, republicans say that the vote will not happen tonight, a disappointment for those who had hoped for a big win repealing and replacing ObamaCare on its seventh birthday. Take that, Obama. The attempt at symbolic destruction on this particular day was not lost on the Democratic Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi.


PELOSI: I don`t know if you want to call this on Trump`s part a rookie`s error. But you don`t find a day and say we`re going to pass a bill. You build your consensus and your caucus and when you`re ready you set the date to bring it to the floor. Rookie`s error, Donald Trump. You may be a great negotiator, rookie`s error for bringing this up on a day when clearly you`re not ready.


REID: So much shade. Republicans have not given up of course. Late this afternoon Breitbart`s Steve Bannon who brought the alt-right to the White House and his new best friend Reince Priebus went to Capitol Hill to meet with Ryan and the Freedom Caucus. While Trump tried to win over moderate republicans at the White House. The White House says it wants a vote by tomorrow and that the President will move on to other things if it fails.

And joining me now, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent Kasie Hunt. So Kasie, that`s a little bit stunning that we`re now hearing out of the White House which said this was their priority. They chose to do this first before doing other things. Now the White House is saying, if they don`t get this through by tomorrow morning they`re done? You mean done-done?

KASIE HUNT, NBC NEWS CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: President Trump has run out of patience, Joy. I mean, does that - it does not seem out of line frankly with the way he has approached some of these other things, he set a hard deadline for these members of congress in the sand and he`s apparently sticking to it. And we`re now hearing that they`re going to vote at approximately 8:00 in the morning on a procedural vote but that one that will be a critical test vote that will show exactly whether or not or will give us an idea, anyway, of whether this is headed to victory or to defeat. Now, this is not typically how business is done. Of course this is really putting republican leadership in a potentially really difficult spot, potentially very embarrassing spot. Normally if you have something that doesn`t have the votes you don`t put it on the floor at all. That does not seem to be how President Trump wants to do business. His top three lieutenants, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Kellyanne Conway were all here behind closed doors meeting with this republican conference into the night here. We have yet to see Speaker Ryan come out of that room and actually formally talk about any of this or let us know how he sees how this process is going. It seems like full speed ahead, we just don`t know if for republicans, it`s going to be a victory or a failure.

REID: Right. Really quickly Kasie, did you get sense that there`s something substantive and policy wise that the White House wants in the bill or do they just want a bill? They just want something to pass?

HUNT: I think President Trump just wants a deal at this point. I think he wants a deal that doesn`t seem to strip away. I mean, one of the things that we`ve talked about a lot during this fight is the fact there`s a big disconnect between what President Trump called for on the campaign and what some of these conservatives want. And that has been a point of tension. We are now having conversations around kids who are allowed to stay on their parents` insurance and about pre-existing conditions and you had all these moderates in House say, you know, forget that, there`s no way I`m voting for that. And that honestly would violate a lot of the promises that the President made on the campaign trail. So, I think at this point, it`s all about just getting a deal and he`s ready to walk away.

REID: Wow. All right. Thank you very much, Kasie Hunt. Appreciate it. And I`m joined now by Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky, ranking member of the House Budget Committee. And Congressman Yarmuth, I`m not sure if you were able to hear Kasie but I`m -


REID: - kind of stunned by this notion that the White House just wants a deal, any deal regardless of the policy impact, including on his own supporters. What do you make of that?

YARMUTH: Well, I mean, this has been a fiasco from day one, Joy, because as you heard, many of us know what he said. Donald Trump know - didn`t know that this was complicated. He thought this was an easy ideological or political deal. When you`re playing around with the Healthcare of 300 million Americans, the Americans care about far more than your political ideology or your desire to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans. They don`t care about that. They want to know how it impacts them and their families. And the republicans have not done any - have not made any inroads into trying to explain to Americans how this benefits them and, of course, it doesn`t. It makes the current system far worse.

REID: And you have now some polling that`s out. There`s a Fox News poll, I love that it is a Fox News poll, that shows that when Americans are asked "what`s the one thing you want Donald Trump to get done as President?" Create jobs, right up there at the top at 33 percent. Destroy ISIS at 23 percent, cut taxes, ten. There`s repeal and replace ObamaCare way down there, I (INAUDIBLE) [20:08:16]see it toward the bottom there at 7 percent. Your colleagues on the other side of the isle seem to think this is the most important thing to do. Is this a priority that from your point of view is coming out of the White House or is this Paul Ryan`s dream that your guys are voting on or that you colleagues are voting on?

YARMUTH: This is Paul Ryan`s - this is Paul Ryan`s ambition. He`s - for years, he`s wanted to basically to dismantle Medicaid, to send it back to the states to block grant it, to cut as much as he could out of it and he wants to do a way and cut the taxes that were imposed under the Affordable Care Act to help pay for Healthcare which now total about a trillion dollars over ten years. So that was the real motivation behind this bill from the leadership`s perspective. Cut taxes for the very wealthy incorporations, cut back on assistance for low income Americans and that`s all that matters to them. They really were never concerned about how to improve the Healthcare of the American people.

REID: And just - you know, you serve with Paul Ryan, you work there with him on the day to day basis. If he were to succeed in getting to do this, in cutting Medicaid in draconian fashion, in having this massive tax cut and basically deregulating the health insurance market, do you think that he would then move onto something like Medicare? Is there any limit to the number of social programs that, in your view, Paul Ryan would go after in this manner?

YARMUTH: There is no limit, Joy. You know, he`s been very, very public. He wants to voucherize Medicare. He wants to turn - to turn it into the private insurance system, give seniors a little bit of money and say go out and buy insurance and good luck to you. That`s been his published and public position for many years now. So, he wants to dismantle the social safety net of this country, he always has. And again, the American people know better. They are concerned about themselves and their families.

REID: Yes. Do a little whip count for me. How many members of the House of Representatives do you think are equally in favor of dismantling the entire Social Safety Net. Just your guess, how many republicans are in favor of that?

YARMUTH: If I had to guess, I would say 100.

REID: Wow. So all of the Freedom Caucus?

YARMUTH: Maybe not quite that many but closely all of the freedom caucus. And there are very - there are awful lot of republicans who say the more we can take of government and put it back in the private sector the better off we`ll be. And you know, what they`re trying to do is accomplish something that`s not been done anywhere else - anywhere else in the world. I mean, there is no free market healthcare system anywhere else in the world.

REID: Yes.

YARMUTH: Every industrialized nation has a government organized or financed healthcare system.

REID: Yes. Absolutely. And right now we do, too. Let`s see if we can keep it. Congressman John Yarmouth, thank you very much for joining me. Appreciate.

YARMUTH: Thank you, Joy.

REID: All right. I`m joined by Washington Post Columnist Jennifer Rubin and MSNBC Contributor Charlie Sykes, whose also the editor of Right Wisconsin and a New York City Radio Host. Well, congratulations that Charlie, welcome to NYC. I`m going to go to you first because you understand these Wisconsin guys better than most of us. Paul Ryan does seem to be - he seemed to go from completely ambivalent about Trump to kind of semi hostile to Trump to literally giddy, giggling on the phone with right - with conservative radio hosts, just giddy about the prospect of dismantling the Affordable Care Act. Are we seeing the sort of demolition of Donald Trump`s dream about repealing and replacing ObamaCare or are you in agreement that this is Ryan`s dream that we`re debating?

CHARLIE SYKES, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, a couple days ago I really assumed that this was going to pass because it had to pass. I mean, you know, this is stunning what`s about to happen to Trump`s Presidency and Ryan`s speakership right now when you think about it. You know, sometimes bills pass because the alternative is so unthinkable. So we are in day 63 I think of the Trump Presidency. And his signature number one piece of domestic legislation might go down in flames. I think the pressure is going to be tremendous overnight but there`s no question about it. The entire Trump-Ryan relationship was based on, look, I`m going to look the other way, I`m going to swallow - you know, all of my reservations that I have about Donald Trump and what Donald Trump says because of this moment. Because we will be able to get this legislation passed and signed and now that`s falling apart and so the consequences for the Trump Presidency are dramatic. The consequences for the Trump-Ryan relationship are dramatic and, of course, you know, this raises fundamental questions about whether or not republicans actually have the ability to govern after eight years in the wilderness.

REID: And Jennifer Rubin, that is really the point, right? Republicans have always said to their voters if you just give us unified control of the government, give us the House, the Senate, the White House, we promise we will repeal and replace and get rid of ObamaCare, which is this sort of amorphous thing people didn`t think they liked and then they found that, oh, wait, that`s my Healthcare, that`s my Medicaid, that`s my money. And now you have this new CBO score that comes out and says that even the new bill, the new version, would knock 24 million people off of the health insurance rolls. It would reduce the deficit by $337 billion, the new one is now only $150 billion so it cuts the deficit reduction down and it would raise premiums on people by 15 percent. I am really baffled by how there are so many republicans who say that`s actually not cruel enough, we won`t support it unless you also take away the mandates for insurance companies providing maternity care.

JENNIFER RUBIN, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: Yes. This is a far cry from Donald Trump wanting to cover everybody and give you something better than the Affordable Care Act. So I think we`ve seen exactly where this entire sort of bedfellow of convenience thing breaks down. The hard-line republicans, as Charlie and others have said, really want to get rid of this and they want to return to some make believe time because, frankly, even before we had ObamaCare, the Healthcare market was non-existent. We have an obligation to treat people in this country. So the only question is who`s going to pay for it. Donald Trump gave the impression during the campaign that poor people and elderly people and the sick were not going to have to shoulder most of this themselves. But that`s not Paul Ryan`s view. That`s what they`re doing. They`re unbundling insurance. They`re removing the risk spreading and putting it back on individuals and, gosh, that turns out to be really unpopular. And that`s the problem that the run into, that this does affect real people`s lives, that this is nothing like what people thought they were getting which was a reduction in the out-of-pocket costs. It was a reduction in their deductibles that they wanted and instead they`re getting something horrible. That`s why 17 percent of the people only support this and well over 50 percent oppose it. I want to know who those 17 percent are.

REID: Probably people with insurance. Let me play real quickly this Paul Ryan sound because it`s pretty extraordinary Charlie. This is Paul Ryan talking about his driving dream.


RYAN: We`re talking about hundreds of billions a year throughout the country. This is - this is so much bigger by orders of magnitude than welfare reform because, let me just describe exactly what this bill does for conservatives. This is why I`m so excited about it and this is why I think people need to see the forest for the trees. We are defederalizing an entitlement, block granting it back to the states and capping its growth rate. That`s never been done before.



REID: Charlie Sykes, you did conservative talk radio for a long time.


REID: Did you get the sense that the people who listen to your show want to get rid of, defederalize things like Medicaid that many of them use?

SYKES: Well, I think one of the things we found out back in 2016 was that maybe conservatives were not that conservative. There was not a large number of people that when you actually confront them with dismantling something like this that they`re going go along with it. But you know, what Paul Ryan said there was significant because the reality is that what they`re trying to do right now has never been done before. Think about it. We`ve never rolled back one of the entitlements, republicans never rolled back the new deal. They never rolled back the great society. So this was a really heavy lift and I don`t think they should be shocked to realize that this was actually very, very difficult. I mean, this should be - you know, this should predictable that when you begin taking things away, when you have - you know, you`re firing real bullets that this is politically problematic.

REID: Yes. And you can`t even get a reality show TV star to sell it for you because it still doesn`t work. And now Trump is like "I`ll drop it tomorrow, it`s fine. I`ll just drop it."

SYKES: The art of the deal

REID: Very crazy. Jennifer Rubin and Charlie Sykes, thank you very much. Thank you all.

And coming up, much more on this huge giant massive failure in the early days of the Trump administration. Namely, Trump`s inability to rally republicans around the central party promise of taking down ObamaCare. So what was actually in the mystery bill that went down in flames today? And what will do the republicans who held out really want to let insurance do to consumers without the protections of ObamaCare? That after this two- minute break.



JOHN BOEHNER, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: And look at how this bill was written. Can you say it was done openly? With transparency and accountability? Without back room deals and struck behind closed doors? Hidden from the people? Hell no you can`t! Have you read the bill? Have you read the reconciliation bill? Have you read the manager`s amendment? Hell no, you haven`t!


REID: That was then-Republican Leader of the House John Boehner. Don`t you miss him? Seven years ago railing against ObamaCare, a bill that was in the works for months before it finally passed.

And joining me now is former Cigna Health Insurance Executive Wendell Potter and MSNBC Anchor Ali Velshi. Thank both for being here. Wendell I have to go to you first because that sound is evergreen. It`s amazing because the thing that they were upset about ostensively was that they said they hadn`t had enough time to read the bill. But this bill is getting rushed through and in the negotiations, it`s been less than a month I think that they`ve been cooking this thing up. The deal-making is coming down to stuff like this, the holdouts, the House Freedom Caucus says the bill is still too liberal because while it takes 24 million people and kicks them off of Healthcare health insurance, they want essential health benefits under ObamaCare also gone. And that means outpatient care, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, these are the pro- life people, lab services, preventative services, prescription drug, rehabilitative services, pediatric. You get the point. How can it be that these are the things they think that the people - that the voters want?

WENDELL POTTER, CIGNA HEALTH INSURANCE FORMER EXECUTIVE: They`re listening to health insurance company lobbyists and they - I guess they think those lobbyists are the proxy for regular people. And they`re certainly being fooled. In fact, they`re being played by the insurance industry, Joy. The insurance industry knows that they can appeal to the ideology of the House Freedom Caucus. They talk the free market and they know that resonates with these folks and they`re selling them a bill of goods. What they would be doing if these were to pass is getting - putting a lot of their constituents into the ranks of the underinsured. Yes, they might theoretically have coverage but it would allow the insurance companies to shift more and more and more of the cost of actual care from them to their enrollees. So it`s a sweet deal for the insurance industry and I`m certain that behind the scenes they`re really trying to work - talk this up.

REID: And Ali, let me let you hear Sean Spicer who was out there today guaranteeing there was no plan B and there was going to be a vote, only to be made a fool of yet again by the vote being pulled and the rug being pulled out from under him. This was Sean Spicer explaining the logic of getting rid of maternity care as a benefit under ObamaCare.


SPICER: Older men, older women who had gone past maternity age were buying benefits that weren`t necessary for them.

I think if you`re an older man you can generally say that you`re not going to need maternity care.


REID: Is that - is that a strong argument in your view, Ali Velshi?

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC ANCHOR: No. It`s a zero argument. Let me just tell you first of all, you know, I was talking about this when ObamaCare came on. The single payer system does actually work, it doesn`t necessarily in and of itself lower healthcare costs, but it`s based on the idea that absolutely everybody is in the risk pool. So when 100 percent of people have maternity coverage, only 50 percent of them can potentially ever have babies, right? Because half of them are men, that`s how the population of the world breaks down. When 100 percent of people have prostate cancer coverage, only 50 percent of them can potentially ever have cancer but as a result the insurance company knows that 50 percent will never claim for prostate cancer and 50 percent will never claim for maternity and everybody gets to pay a relatively low rate or in a single-payer system like Canada`s, a rate the size of my - the shape of my head. Zero. The other thing that`s the shape of my head is the number of free market health insurance systems there are in the world.

It`s a fallacy. It simply doesn`t work because as Wendell can tell you, for-profit insurance companies exist for profit which means they will not willingly insure people who are high risk without some sort of offset. And the offset has to be a big pool or everybody or a bunch of not-sick people. So now when you carve out these essential health benefits, the ten of them that you had on the screen there, for most people that represents any potential illness or treatment that you could actually seek. So, sure, if you take all of those out, insurance will be pretty cheap. I would personally insure people if I could guarantee not to pay for any of those things on the list. So it`s just -- I`m a market guy, Joy, you know that, I`m a capitalist, I`m a business reporter, I love capitalism, this makes no sense.

REID: And Wendell, what would insurance companies do if you completely deregulated the market? Would they ever insure somebody`s child, let`s say, who had Spina Bifida? Would they ever insure an older person or sick person willingly?

POTTER: No, it doesn`t. And that`s a big fallacy, this free market thing. They don`t want to insure people who need access to care. They only want the healthiest and the youngest. So, no, they would not. And they - it`s just absurd. The whole idea of the free market working is just a fallacy, as I said. They - and even the notion of competition is a fallacy as well, too. The more insurance companies you have, the less market power any one of them has -

REID: Yes.

POTTER: -to negotiate with doctors and hospitals.

REID: And Ali, would it make more sense to try to fix the Affordable Care Act and, briefly, what would those fixes look like?

VELSHI: Yes, it would. Look, anybody who tells you the Affordable Care Act is perfect, it`s not. First of all, it did virtually nothing on the cost side of the equation and as Wendell implied and it was said - I`ve had a lot of republican congressmen tell me the same thing, they didn`t design this American Health Care act with the idea that they talked a bunch of people who had a steak in the game. They did talk to some insurance companies and lobbyists and that`s why the flavor of this thing exists as it is. A real good healthcare system to be fixed needs to have all of the other constituents involved. This can`t just be legislation for the insurance companies. So yes, there are real fixes you can give to ObamaCare, but you need to actually want to fix it, not repeal it.

REID: And be able to pass it through the House of Representatives where it has the Freedom Caucus which is like just get rid of all of it and deregulate. Wendell Potter and Ali Velshi, thank you both.

All right. And still ahead. Growing concerns over yesterday`s intelligence committee debacle when Chairman Devin Nunes briefed the White House and the press before talking to his democratic colleagues. Well, one of those colleagues is here to respond after the break.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did this come from the White House? Did this information that you -

NUNES: You know, look, as you know, we have to keep our sources and methods here very, very quiet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re denying that any of this information came from the Trump administration.

NUNES: Yes. I`m not going to - look, on this - at this committee we are not going to ever reveal sources.


REID: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes refusing to deny that the Trump administration itself was the source of information that he personally give the President yesterday. That the Intelligence Community had incidentally collected information on people in the Trump transition. Did I mention that Devin Nunes was himself a member of the Trump transition team and that the President he gave the information to is the same guy whose campaign is under FBI investigation? Well, today Nunes reportedly apologized to the other members of the Intel Committee for not going to them first. And joining me is Congressman Joaquin Castro, a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman Castro, thank you very much for being here.


REID: Sir, I`m old enough to remember when Devin Nunes complained along with every single member except for Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of the House Intelligence Community about leaks, said they were criminal, said they were wrong to have anonymous leaks showing up at the newspaper. Do you find it ironic?

CASTRO: You know, I could have sworn that was just a few days ago so -

REID: It was. Do you find it ironic that he now is the person who received a leak and then disseminated it to the press and the White House?

CASTRO: It was ironic and very strange, his actions yesterday. You know, many of us up to that point had praised how the committee had tried to work in a bipartisan way to move the investigation forward. At the same time, as you know, many democrats have called for an independent commission to take this out of the hands of any of the members of congress, put in the hands of a bipartisan group of citizens to fully investigate, look at the evidence, and come to conclusions and so yesterday I think shook the confidence of a lot of folks.

REID: And let`s play just very quickly Congressman Nunes, the House Intel Committee Chair talking about his regrets and his apology.


NUNES: It`s just a judgment call. I mean, you know, it was my - I mean, it was - there was a lot going on yesterday and it was a judgment call on my part and that`s - at the end of the day that`s - you know sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the wrong one but you have to stick by what you - the decisions you make.


REID: And Congressman, did that apology to the other members of the committee include a promise to show you whatever it is that he showed the White House?

CASTRO: It did, actually. He said that he wants the other members of the committee to see it. Of course, you know, all of us are still in the dark as to what exactly he saw that led him to go over to the White House and brief the President, but, yes, I mean, I`d love to see what he`s talking about.

REID: Yes. And does it trouble you that because Congressman Nunes, I`ve been pronouncing his name wrong -- is actually, was a member of the Trump transition team. In your view is it fitting that somebody who was on the transition team can be leading an investigation into what he`s saying was surveillance of the same transition team?

CASTRO: Well, and that`s why I think he really needed to be careful about his actions and not appearing to become a surrogate or an advocate for the president.

I think folks on the committee are willing to give -- we`re willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But, you know, when you have days like yesterday it makes that very tough.

And, as I said, it really underscored why we need that independent commission most of all.

REID: Nancy Pelosi went so far as to say he was a stooge of the White House. Do you believe that Congressman Nunes should step down as the head of this investigation? Should recuse himself?

CASTRO: You know, that`s a great question, Joy. And, you know, all over social media Democrats on Twitter, on Facebook, all over have been saying this guy needs to resign and my one word of caution would be, you know, as bad as it`s been, there are actually people who could be worse that could be appointed to chair that committee. So I would just be too careful.

If you ask me the question I would say if you replace him, it depends who you are going to replace him with.

REID: It`s like repeal and replace. The things you try to do to replace is worse.

Now everyone is Googling all the Republican members of that committee to see who you`re talking about.

Congressman Joaquin Castro, thank you very much.

CASTRO: Thank you.

REID: And up next, why the White House is calling former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort just some guy that used to be on the payroll. The continued rush by the White House team Trump to disown the campaign team Trump after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) REID: Today we learned that an investigation of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business deals with pro-Russian actors in Ukraine also extends to his dealings with the bank of Cyprus, which is widely known for money laundering.

The Associated Press reports that Treasury agents in recent months obtained information connected to Manafort`s transactions from Cypriot authorities. Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer`s efforts to distance Manafort from the Trump campaign has officially reached the absurd.


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You pull out a gentleman who was employed by someone for five months and talk about a client he had ten years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The gentleman, Paul Manafort, you`re referring to was the campaign chairman.

SPICER: No. I get it, right, right, I understand who he is.


REID: Joining me now is the reporter who followed Paul Manafort closely during the election. Franklin Foer, staff writer for The Atlantic.

So, Franklin, does it surprise you that the White House is trying to disown Paul Manafort? And do you see any risks therein?

FRANKLIN FOER, THE ATLANTIC: Well, of course they`re trying to disown him. They`re in the thick of this scandal. And there`s really one person whose a click away from both the Kremlin and a click away from Trump, and that`s Paul Manafort. He spent the last decade of his life before he came to the Trump campaign working for Viktor Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine, who was a Putin proxy, and working for a series of oligarchs who were very, very close to the Kremlin.

In fact, (inaudible) who is the oligarch whose name surfaced yesterday in connection to this proposal that Manafort wrote was known as Putin`s oligarch, the Kremlin`s oligarch. He was in the inner circle of the Kremlin. He was one of the few people that actually Putin trusts.

So of course they`re trying to distance themselves from this guy.

REID: And do you get the sense -- because there are different people - there are so many people around Donald Trump that have these sort of weird affinities and maybe coincidental affinities to Russia, but do you get the sense that Paul Manafort is the man that brought the Russianization of Trumpism to the campaign?

He started I think in the spring of last year as campaign manager.

FOER: Right. Right.

Well, the truth is we just don`t know. I mean, he is just the -- when Manafort was fired by Trump in August, it was done quietly after news broke about payments that were found -- ledgers found in Kiev that showed payments that were made to Manafort under the table. And Trump dropped him stone cold and quietly and in an uncharacteristic fashion for Trump without a whole lot of fanfare or pushback.

And so we really don`t know what the scandal is here at the heart of all of this and we don`t know what went on and who was coordinating with who if there was any sort of coordination, but given what the FBI has pointed to, Manafort is clearly the logical place to begin an investigation.

Unfortunately, we didn`t pay attention to him for so long because he was kicked out of the campaign.

REID: And this is sort of a kind of - a little bit of an existential question, but I don`t know if your reporting was able to uncover how close the two men are personally such that, let`s say in theory, Manafort were to really get in trouble for one of these scandals. His being under investigation not only for the Ukraine stuff, but now this Bank of Cyprus stuff.

If he were to be faced with jailtime, let`s say, for one of those things is he close enough to Donald Trump to never talk about Donald Trump or the campaign in exchange for giving himself an easier ride?

FOER: Well, let`s look at the scope of the relationship. It goes back a long way.

Roger Stone and Paul Manafort first got to know Donald Trump in the late `70s and they started working for him in the early 1980s. And they helped him with a lot of his gambling lobbying that he needed done, and helped him with various little issues where he needed lobbying. And Manafort actually lived in Trump Tower.

And so they have a real long meaningful relationship. And so that`s the overall context.

Would he -- the question that you ask involves a lot of layers of speculation that I`m not sure I`m equipped to go there.

REID: But it`s interesting, the connection between Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, that`s interesting.

Frank Foer, we`re out of time, but we`re going to read your article. We`re going to go - and everybody will follow you on Twitter. We`ll get more. Thank you Franklin Foer, appreciate it.

FOER: OK, thank you.

REID: All right, and still ahead, more on the Republican health care implosion. Trump just wants a win after nearly two months of losing and losing and losing.

The question is, is it a win at any cost?

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two after this short break.


REID: Paul Ryan is making a statement right now. Let`s take a listen to what the speaker of the house is saying.

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) WISCONSIN: ...and tomorrow we`re proceeding.

UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: Do you have the votes? Do you have to votes? Do you have the votes?

REID: That was very quick.

Joining me now is Chris Hayes the host of a show called All In with Chris Hayes. I do believe, if I get myself properly correct, and also he`s in Philadelphia right now promoting his amazing new book A Colony in a Nation. I highly recommend it. You need to read it. It`s a terrific book. So, he`s doing that tonight and also being on the show as well as McKay Coppins, who has great books, but we`re not going to promote those tonight, because it`s Chris Hayes` show.

So, let`s talk a little bit about that. You just saw, Chris, the speaker of the House walk out to cameras and very briefly say they`re going to have a come to Jesus moment, a vote tomorrow morning.

But there`s this extraordinary piece of reporting as well that the White House has said it`s one and done. You either pass it tomorrow or we`re dropping I guess repeal and replace. What do you make of that?

CHRIS HAYES, HOST, ALL IN: There is so much that I want to say about what transpired today.

REID: It`s your show.

HAYES: I`m looking at the clock there at 8:43 and I`ve gotten here.

I mean, so the ultimatum is bizarre and fascinating, but I think it belies the fundamental truth, which we`ve been discussing on this show all along which is that the president doesn`t want to do this and doesn`t care about it.

In fact, the last few weeks he keeps saying like "I can`t wait to get this done. I just can`t wait to finish it so I can get to the stuff I want to do."

He literally has been saying this at every event. "Oh, when I get to trade, I`m going to crush it on trade."

It`s like, well, you are doing this. So, a, it`s not surprising.

B, I mean, what is so shocking - and, Joy you mentioned this at the top of the show is the White House does not care what the content of the bill is.


HAYES: They don`t care what`s in the bill.

The bill isn`t some abstraction, it`s the entire health insurance market for a nation of 330 million people. You can`t just, like, negotiate it like you`re doing a development deal in Atlantic City. There are policy affects that they seem to have absolutely no investment in either way.

HAYES: And McKay, the only thing they did seem to care about in the beginning was not letting bit called Trumpcare, which is why everyone calls it Trumpcare.

But it is weird that the president made a big deal of this on the campaign trail. He just was in Kentucky making a big deal about repeal and replace.

Is it -- is this a Trump characteristic? That he only scares about getting a deal and he that he really actually doesn`t seem to care at all about the contents of it?

COPPINS: Well, I mean, Chris compared it to a real estate deal in Atlantic City, with real estate deals in Atlantic City at least Trump had some idea, some working knowledge of the details and cared about how it turned out.

REID: And then they all failed. Didn`t his Atlantic City businesses go down in flames?

COPPINS: Fair enough, let`s not give him too much credit.

But I think the reality is here - Joy you earlier in the show teased a segment on the kind of legislative meltdown on Capitol Hill as a massive failure early in the Trump presidency. I think President Trump who, by the way, could be watching right now, he`s a well-known cable news junky, he hates to hear that.

Above all, he wants a win. He wants to be able to point to something right now and say I did that, right? I promised you I would repeal Obamacare and I did it.

I think Chris is right that he doesn`t know that much about health care policy. He doesn`t know anything about the legislative process. He just wants it to be done and what we`re seeing is the affect of that is that he`s making promises left and right just trying to get enough -- scrape enough votes to be able to win. And Imean, we`re seeing the consequence. It`s not turning out well.

REID: But Chris, I mean, the other - it is stunning to me that the amount of things that have been picked up, run with like it was the most important thing and then dropped.

Where`s the Muslim ban? I`m not saying I want them do it, but remember we were all going to die if they didn`t do the Muslim ban immediately. And now they don`t talk about it anymore.

The wall, this was the most important thing and Mexico`s going to pay for it.

These things are going away.

HAYES: That is a fantastic point and I actually to be contrarian in a weird way for a moment, I think of all the bad options on the table I actually think the best bad option is to do what the president is saying which is if it fails tomorrow, leave it alone.

Like, they are -- it is going to be a huge political setback if this fails. And I still don`t know if it will. Let`s not get ahead of ourselves, right. Things can change. So, I don`t want to be telling people this thing is going to go down in flames because it may very well pass.

But if it does fail and they just drop it, the cost of substantively making people`s health care worse is worse than the short-term political cost of failing to live up to the promise. As bad as that`s going to be, as much as it`s going to invigorate the opposition, as much as it`s going to invite primary challenges, as many political headaches as that will invite, because there will be the smell of defeat around the GOP and around this White House, it is better than passing a bad bill which I`m not going to get into the substance of what I`m just reading on my phone here about what the House Freedom Caucus is asking for, but it will amount to a wholesale rollback of the most popular parts of the Affordable Care Act and a complete deregulation of the insurance industry coupled with massive subsidies, which would be a recipe for essentially a million different Trump University health care -- health insurance operations to spring up and offer people scam insurance and collect federal dollars. That is what will happen if this hybrid monster were to actually become law.

REID: And sell those Trump University health plans across state lines because that`s what`s supposed to fix health care.

Again, let me play you Chris Collins, who is a New York Republican talking about this vote or die, just vote and be done - vote or be done tomorrow morning.


REP. CHRIS COLLINS, (R) NEW YORK: We have to have a vote tomorrow. He expects it to pass, but he`s moving on if for some reason it didn`t. But his plea is to our party, our party to come together as a team and pass it.


REID: So McKay, he is talking there about the "he" is Donald Trump who he sort of talks like he`s his boss, which is a little weird.

But you have also seen at the same time that Republicans are sort of doing the bidding of he, Donald Trump, who expect this is to be done, but do they - might they wind up feeling a little abandoned if they can`t get it done and he just moves on and says, well, forget you guys and whatever you have to tell your people in your district, that`s not my problem.

COPPINS: Well, it`s possible.

I mean, there are two ways to read the ultimatum that President Trump has given. One is that it`s a negotiating tactic to try to scare enough people in the Freedom Caucus and other Republicans into passing this bill, the other possibility is that he`s framing this in a way that when it fails, when the bill fails, he can blame congress and then move on with minimal political damage to himself without too much fallout for having broken a campaign promise.

I don`t know which one that is. I`ve heard persuasive cases by conservatives and Republicans tonight going both ways. But I do think that Republicans are going to have to go home and explain to their constituents why they didn`t follow through on their repeal of Obamacare which they have cast as a massive emergency that needs to be addressed urgently.

At the same time, I think a lot of Republicans are also calculating that they don`t want to go home and explain to their constituents why they just passed a bill that kind of messes up heir health care and massively disrupts the health care system.

REID: Kind of?

They would have to go home and say "congratulations, I took away your Medicaid." I don`t know how they think that`s good politics.

All right, I`m going to keep both of these fine guests, one of whom is a guy named Chris Hayes. I think he should seem familiar to you.

We`re going to keep them around and take a quick break and we`ll be right back.



RYAN: For seven and a half years we have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law because it`s collapsing and it`s failing families. And tomorrow we`re proceeding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have the votes? Do you have the votes? Do you have the votes?


REID: That was Paul Ryan moments ago emerging from a Republican meeting on health care and joining me now from Capitol Hill is NBC`s Kelly O`Donnell.

So Kelly, talk about this one-and-done vote tomorrow. Will Republicans have any more votes tomorrow morning than they did tonight?

KELLY O`DONNELL, NBC NEWS: Well, the expectation now, as they`re laying it out, is that tonight they`ve kind of gotten the ball rolling on a procedural step that allows them to move within one day on this bill and that tomorrow there`s a sequence of two votes with an expectation that if it does go forward they will vote on this by mid to late afternoon.

The idea now is that there is no more negotiating to be done. Sources from the White House say they believe they will get there as well as a number of lawmakers here are saying that the pressure, kind of the lever that the president used as well as House Speaker Paul Ryan is to say it`s time to deliver on a promise if you can`t vote for this bill then the president is ready to turn the page. That would be a real jolt to a Republican Party that has been promising that it could deliver on the repeal of the health care law and a replacement.

This is a multi-step process if they can go forward.

Talking to members as they were leaving tonight, there was a bit more optimism about the fact that it`s effectively game time. They have got to decide. But I don`t think there`s any reason to believe that this is going to go through easily. Notably, the House Speaker did not respond to the question about do you have the votes, just that we`re going to proceed, that keeps the pressure up but it certainly is not foreshadowing optimism about this.

What happens if they do decide to put this aside and move forward? Next, they would plan to tackle tax reform which might be less of an emotional issue on some matters compared to health care that`s so personal for people. Could they get a win there and then try to come back to this? It`s unclear. But this is one of those ultimatum moments, take it or leave it. Another top official said I think the Republican conference will take it. We`ll have to see how it plays out - Joy.

REID: Thank you very much, Kelly O`Donnell.

All right, Chris Hayes and McKay Coppins are still with me.

And Chris, looking at this graphic that shows six of the House Republicans that actually turned out to be no votes and some of the places they are from are pretty extraordinary.

Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Leonard Lance of New Jersey, Dave Young, Iowa, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Dave Brett, Virginia, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee. These are red states, Chris. And out of the 31 no votes based on the NBC whip count, 15 of them held townhalls.

Is this proof that the people kind of prevailed here, that whatever promises Republicans made their voters don`t want this repealed?

HAYES: Well, it`s a great question. Because I think there`s a combination of things happening.

One is that. I think - in fact, I think a lot of the conservative objection, particularly you see it in the Senate from folks like Tom Cotton in Arkansas, Rand Paul in Kentucky. There`s some part of me that wonders in those states that have Medicaid expansion if they`re sort of attacking the bill from the right so they can preserve it from the left in certain ways.

I do think, actually, one of the many remarkable things about how this is playing out is that the House Freedom Caucus, even if I substantively object to what they`re trying to do, and I think the policy that they`re aiming for is bad, you have to sort of admire the fact that they have just stuck to their guns.

I mean, this is just two dozen members of congress who are basically attempting to rewrite health care for the whole country and the sheer -- it`s like a union strike, it`s like an organizing drive, right? The sheer intensity of their solidarity, the fact that they are banded together has granted them this leverage and the only reason the threat -- their threat to vote no carries the weight it does is because they`ve done it before. We`ve watched them do this.

They basically chased John Boehner back to his house in Ohio by doing this to him over and over and so they have a tremendous amount of leverage and that`s why tomorrow is just such a high stakes dramatic moment just procedurally in terms of what actually happens.

REID: Yeah, David Frum tweeted earler that the Republicans could sure use a community organizer. They basically have one, the House Freedom Caucus. But they`re just organizing only like really rich people.

Really wuickly, McKay, what do you think ends up coming of this bromance, this belated bromance between Paul Ryan and Donald Trump, who inexplicably walked away from his sort of Andrew Jackson populism to throw in with the establishment.

Do you think that that winds up falling apart after this?

COPPINS; I think it`s possible, though I don`t know if it will be because of the fate of this bill. It might just be because health care policy was an area that Donald Trump sincerely did not know that much about, did not care very much about, and he was happy to outsource the policy making and legislating to congressional leaders who were better versed in it.

I think when we move on to issues like trade and immigration, and infrastructure I think we could see Trump taking a more aggressive role, wanting to lead out. And frankly, I`m not convinced that Paul Ryan is necessarily going to put up that much resistance against Trump. I think it`s very possible that he`ll just kind of follow the White House`s lead from here on out, or at least for the foreseeable future.

REID: Yeah, because he didn`t get his dream - the votes that guys were seeing, by the way, that was not them voting on health care, those are just procedural votes they`re doing tonight before the big one tomorrow.

Chris, I`m wondering what you think the role of the sort of declining -- it was already low, but declining credibility of the White House given the lie about being wiretapped, given the fact that we`ve learned about the FBI investigation and the sort of drip drip drip of information on Russiagate. How much do you think that played into Republicans not being afraid of this White House and being willing to say no?

HAYES: Well, I have heard from folks on Capitol Hill that it makes a difference that his approval rating is at 37 percent and it makes a difference that the bill is incredibly unpopular. I mean, that does make a difference in the political calculation.

In a more kind of banal human way, negotiating with someone who is a demonstrated fabricator presents some sort of credibility problems. And not just that, the lack of mastery of the policy makes it even hard to make pledges. So the fact that he doesn`t know -- he is not immersed in the details of how all this system works, means that he can`t make credible promises about things they`ll do in say bucket number two or things they`ll push for in the Senate bill, right, which would possibly allay the fears. That`s the kind of things that the previous president was able to do when he got involved in the ACA negotiations.

And the final thing that I think has hurt them is, Jess McIntosh made this point on our show, there`s no animating project here. I mean, Democrats were willing to take very tough votes because they believed in getting people health insurance. it just came down to that. It came down to the president saying you`re going to walk the plank and some of you are probably not going to survive, but as a party they believed in that project.

It is just so unclear what the actual affirmative project here that`s being pursued is.

REID: Yeah, and that Donald Trump has an affirmative project he`s pursuing other than getting deals and getting wins. It seems like the only thing he seems to really believe in at the end of the day is winning. And he doesn`t really care how or what is the substance. But I think you`re making a very important point. When you have a president who cares a lot about health care, you wind up getting a health care bill that`s really hard to repeal.

Chris Hayes gets the last word here on All In tonight. Chris Hayes, great book, get out there and sell that book.

McKay Coppins, thank you very much for being here.


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